Saturday, February 28, 2009

Spiritual Direction

Since I've started blogging, I've been reading and checking out other Catholic blogs. It's a very interesting phenomena.  Cardinals, priests, nuns, deacons and laypeople are blogging and there are even lists of Catholic blogs such as one that is maintained at St. Blog's Parish. It's not a real parish but a site which lists all new Catholic blogs and categorizes existing Catholic blogs. 
I came across a very interesting blog which might be helpful to others, especially during Lent. It's called "Catholic Spiritual Direction," and it's written by Fr. John Bartunek, LC.  What I especially like about this blog is that you can submit questions about your spiritual quest. According to the site, the blog is very popular and I can imagine why. People who are on a spiritual journey, often have questions and that's why this is a great site, so here is the link below-
Years ago I read an excellent article written by Fr. John Russell, O. Carm., titled Therese of Lisieux and Spiritual Direction. I was very fortunate to take a course on St. Therese from the Carmelite Institute. Fr. Russell was the professor, he is an expert on St. Therese. In his article, he notes that Therese turned to Jesus to be her spiritual director. Calling Jesus her "Director of directors," Fr. Russell wrote that "Therese turned to Jesus Christ as her Director and sought his guidance and affirmation in all the events of her life. That direction would be mediated in various ways, particularly through the Scriptures but also in personal prayer, through the grace of the sacraments and in her discerning reflection on community life as well as through her reading of spiritual masters such as St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila....The primary focus of all direction is enabling the directee to deepen in relationship to God."  Quoting Alice McDowell, "At appropriate times, the director should remind the seeker that God or Christ is the true director." 
St. Therese identified Jesus Christ as her spiritual director and I think that's comforting for the many people who don't have a spiritual director. Therese, "through her personal graced experience of faith, hope and love developed a vision of authentic discipleship of Jesus Christ."